Wednesday, March 14, 2012

#naace 2012

I attended NAACE conference with one thing to do, to find out how organised naace were in offering an alternative ICT curriculum for English schools. If you have been following announcements then you should know that from September 2012 the  ICT curriculum in English schools has been suspended at the moment for two years.  There is now no obligation to follow national curriculum.

    There had been much talk of new curriculums , of wikification , of stakeholder engagement of lots of things really and there  does seem to be lots of things going on. NAACE once were really the association for local authority ICT Advisors now attendees span a broader church of primary and secondary teachers  So what were the messages ?


  1.    Ofstead are relaxed that there will be lot of ways to drive up standards.
  2.   In theory individual  schools could  now make their own standards in this space
  3.   This is about national curriculum redesign not about qualifications design but what may emerge are new awards 
  4.   Some schools have already made big changes to their curriculum  they will be showcased .
  5.   Dfe giving Naace control of ICT mark and self review framework now official was previously BECTA  
  6.   Awarding bodies and industry subject associations arr encouraged  to develop creative solutions  Some arriving already  examples of innovative programmes  Computing at school Behind the Screen Apps for Good AQA and edexcel new gcse proposals in computer science  
  7.  You need to follow your own curriculum but flavours also arriving from NAACE , BCS , e-skills  , cas , you choose 
 Overall the focus is on programming and creating and the academically challenging bits  Computer science should be in everyone's minds.  But digital literacy and using ICT across the curriculum is still important.

 Is this the deregulation or the  derailing of national curriculum jury is out.

 I think NAACE should do more to take ownership of curriculum in this space while they have this opportunity I hope they do more to promoted their level 1 , 2 and 3 Curriculum. I think folks will get a bit confused about new GCSE that will appear in between now and September,

 Big shout out to Derek Robertson and John Johnston who picked up awards for conolarium and for growing teach meet community respectively.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Social Media Policy

Well done Australia always heralded as a forward looking confident society. This is a great piece for any employer in the private or public sector.

Interesting to note this particular presentation is for state legal services folk. Scottish Court services take note.

Lots of good practice highlighted nicely

I'll pass on to team that looks after SQA's social software policy. A useful clip for lots of organisations.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Big History


Winging its way out to Directors of Education and Headteachers tomorrow a superb opportunity for three schools and the science and social science departments ...and more
We have been invited as a Nation to participate in the pilot roll out of the Big History Project
Funded by Bill Gates directly through Bill Gates Catlyst Three. This is a superb opportunity to be part of a cutting edge,  project based learning,  global project - that fits very well with a Curriculum for Excellence


The SQA and The BIg History Project  invite applications to be part of The Big History Project and join pilot schools in Australia and USA
  • We are looking for three secondary schools in close proximity to each other - this is stipulation from the Big History Project.
  • Funding is available for two teachers from each school to attend the programme induction in Seatlle, USA between 22-25th March 2012.
  • These teachers will be a Science Teacher and a Social Subjects Teacher ( the curriculum leaders).
  • Participating schools need to deliver the Big History programme as a pilot from September 2012 to a 2nd or 3rd Year cohort  and provide feedback where appropriate.  
  • Participating schools will also be expected to carry out a curriculum mapping exercise for the Big History Project materials to the experiences and outcomes of CfE.

You can find out more about the Big History Project here www.bighistoryproject.com/
You can hear a message from David Christian to Scottish Schools here http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/video/b/video_tcm4687443.asp

Pilot schools will gain experience of working with global partners on a new and innovative multidisciplinary curriculum.

To apply for this opportunity - we need  an Education Authority’s nomination of three suitable schools.  The project will meet the travel and subsistence costs associated with the programme but will not provide cover costs for the  induction programme.

Applications will be screened by panel drawn from SQA, Education Scotland and The Big History Project.

Applications should consist of one side A4  with  a simple statement  from each of three nominated schools on Why the Big History project appeals to them.  

Attached to the application we need  a name and short resume of  the Science and Social Science Teacher nominated to take part in induction programme.from each of the three schools. Given the tight timescale on this nominees need to hold a full British Passport.

Applications close on Monday 5th of March - successful applicants will be contacted to make travel arrangements on 7th of March .

Applications should be emailed to Liam.Priest@sqa.org.uk
 
A special thanks due to @olliebray and @islayian for spotting this opportunity and making the introductions that made this happen

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog

Sometimes while sitting in meetings talking once again about the revolution due to sweep our out moded education system to one side  I forget that I've spent more than  25 years using different kinds of technology in the classroom and the  workplace.

In all that time I still haven't got away from using a  keyboard as my main input tool - I was trying to get all of my students to wordprocess their essays in 1986.  You can't imagine how challenging that was.

There were folks then and there still  are those  who staunchly challenge the  notion that most folk should be able to use a keyboard  to compose simple messages for blogging , emailing ,etc and for doing a  lot more too.

You would not survive long in most workplaces without having some rudimentary skills.

The thing that still annoys me is that a lot of these superior voices around things like basic ICT skills do their postings from well designed and formatted  blogs or worse from professional media and not in handwritten notes. I'd wager too that their once pristine copperplate is rustier  than it has ever been. My handwriting is now awful and reserved for birthday cards and personal greetings - even for most things work I fall back on an electronic signature.

I was therefore  delighted last week to hear that my daughter who is in primary four is getting some basic keyboard skills and is keen to key her stories into the word processor.

To illustrate and admittedly probably greatly handicapped by my indigenous Glaswegian accent I had a go at using the Dragon  speech to text app to save me keying in all of this  - I  like the fantasy of the cats bit.

Sometimes chicken is noting because I still haven't got the keyboard still force is going to keep challenging the notion that most folks should be given to use one to compose suddenly suitable union except you and I survived Lord knows what places without having some rudimentary skills is that still annoys me is all of the superior voices I don't think that basic ICT skills do the postings were designed for McDonald's and handwritten and I waited to it once Christine is rustier than ever was my own ratings of fantasy of the cats get someone

I guess someone will pick up on me for promoting dull things like the use of word processing , spreadsheets , databases and presentation software but it is a basic skill .

It would be great if any responses by those in the anti-keyboarding lobby were added below, without the use of a keyboard ;-)


Thursday, February 02, 2012

How the World is Changing

What a great way to get your fingers dirty without getting your fingers dirty - -We do really need folks who can draw and design without templates. Worth a look though ! Drawing Tools on Tablet Devices are so cool


Sunday, January 29, 2012

#LWF12 a quick review

Learning Without Frontiers #lwf12

Learning Without Frontiers #lwf12

I spent two days this week at learning without frontiers . At some points of conference we made it out to the frontiers but there was also a fair number of old ideas being recycled. I loved the igloos but did think conference was not as good as previous years. Day Two was best day for me.

  1. Stephen Heppell was as his best as a reliable anchor. He really should get a lot more attention paid to his grounded ideas for moving education forward. It was great to hear him on day two . It helped for me at least to bring lots of ideas had picked up back into a real world context.
  2. Fine words from Noam Chomsky "A person can do magnificently on a test, and understand very little." #lwf12
  3. I thought Noam needed to be challenged  - but that is really the problem with deities  - he offered some very  clever questions but not really solutions - the lot of the über  academic .This was a very clever way to open conference but I don't think he really has answers that learners today need never mind future of learning.
  4. #lwf12 Ellen MacArthur passionate about the future, renewable resources & inspiring young people. http://t.co/fTgzEpOD
    #lwf12 Ellen MacArthur passionate about the future, renewable resources & inspiring young people. t.co/fTgzEpOD
  5. Rest of  morning of day one for me at any rate was too much thigh slapping empty rhetoric.  Though I'd still like Ray Kurzweil's slide deck.
    Jaron Lanier and Debbie Forster were hard going for me at least.
     Ellen MacArthur would have been brilliant but I've seen presentation before and I used this slot for some external meetings .
    After lunch Charlie Leadbetter gave us standard fayre biggest disappointment was perhaps Ed Vaizey - with Digital Britain agenda surely great moment to talk about life long learning and challenges that can be tackled that will lead to greater economic prosperity - thought he set his sites too low.
  6. Ended Day One in one of the marvellous igloos discussing educational Armageddon with lots of old friends and some new ones - if anything highlighted ongoing lack of consensus about what education is for - especially in England as everything seems fractured.  It seems like politically engineered Armageddon in England . I'd love an igloo for my back garden would be great for parties !This is worth a read from @dajbelshaw 
  7. What is ‘digital literacy’? EdD thesis by @dajbelshaw  http://neverendingthesis.com/doug-belshaw-thesis-as-submitted.pdf esis.com/doug-bmscilolthesis-as-submitted.pdf via Nigel on #mscilol
  8. Day two started is much more grounded way - David Puttnam does have a vision and Mitchel Resnick has done some great work at MIT Media Lab . I know lots of schools in Scotland are using Scratch to teach computer programming 
  9. RT @wayneholmes: If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will be condemned to spend its whole life believing it is stupid. David Putnam #LWF12
  10. Mitch Resnick, Lifelong Kindergarten, MIT Media Lab on stage at #lwf12 http://t.co/baM5emCD
    Mitch Resnick, Lifelong Kindergarten, MIT Media Lab on stage at #lwf12 t.co/baM5emCD
  11. Really enjoyed Mozilla Foundation input and moving something on with them 
  12. Really hoping we can plug Scottish education into Mozilla global community #lwf12 lots we can bring
  13. Some other links and ideas I am going back to look at - 
  14. Thingiverse - Digital Designs for Physical Objects: Where learners can share amazing things they have done with ...  http://bit.ly/ybopuo 
  15. RT @oliverquinlan: Digital Technology and the Brain: A Guide for the Online Family  http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/digital-technology-and-the-brain-a-guide-for-the-online-family/18705197 prlwf12/paperback/digital-technology-and-the-brain-a-guide-for-the-online-family/18705197 #lwf12
  16. Oops and here it is any Scottish learners tuned in to this ?  http://youngrewiredstate.org/ tate.org/
  17. RT @GrahamBM: Diary dates for #LWF13 Jan 29-30 2013, the brand new "West Hall" Olympia - expect us... #lwf12 Get it in your diary now!
  18. There are loads more of reviews appearing 
  19. From last night: my first reflections. RT *New* 'Learning Without Frontiers 2012 (#LWF12)'  http://bit.ly/wVtX6V 
  20. Schmooze did not really do it for me 
  21. @joecar Schmooze  http://bit.ly/sFrsKd  sounds really interesting! Let us know how it works for you at #LWF12

Monday, January 23, 2012

Class Dojo

I think this is interesting  development and probably running ahead of policy makers in this area of classroom management and reporting.

Young learners  who have seen Kung Fu Panda will probably understand concept of a Dojo and those that haven't will quickly see normal penalty and reward system of classroom management in this tool

Appeared on my radar a few times now in last six months and flagging it up for this reason alone.

Check it out at  http://www.classdojo.com/tour






Monday, January 16, 2012

#TeachMeetImpact



If I've done this correctly each time this page loads you will see 10 more photographs from one of the Teachmeets  that are happening right now somewhere in the world - Images from flickr tagged 'Teachmeet' and a  wee tool courtesy of Flickr Badge

The inspiring thing about Teachmeet is that it has travelled well

It works best where there are about 40-50 participants

The rules work well for teachers - who are not used to

a. Being in the audience
b. Talking for only a minute in some cases
c. Speaking in front of their peers and/or strangers
d And originally who wish to share and build their confidence in using technology in the classroom - and might not be that confident.




Created with flickr badge.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Playing with Drawing Packages

I am a terrible doodler and result of being away from home and trying to seek inspiration in meetings is that I sit and doodle .
I wonder if any of my pals recognise these doodles ;-)

The Bett Show 2nd Helpings #bett12, #BETT_Show, #bett2012




Michael Gove set a much better tone and direction for this year's conference, he may have disappointed some with talk of making programming exciting while perhaps overlooking the  fact that many folks still see a need for ict to permeate the curriculum more,  just using the stuff does require support and neither teachers or learners naturally apply technology in a learning context. We still need a focus on digital literacies.


I looked around for some familiar Education Department folks to compare notes with - I think an Education Department Stand at BETT would be useful. Though I have to say Naace and ALT are doing a fine job in keeping debate going and providing guidance for schools in maintaining quality of ICT Provision for learners.
It is worth looking and contributing to the  following debate at SchoolTech.Org.Uk 

When you see commercial muscle that is on display each year at BETT it is easy to see how and why local authorities can be seduced in to making large investments. There is an  interesting on going BBC investigation on UK Schools paying up to fives times more for technology than other parts of the world.

There was I thought some misplaced smugness from Scotland - we have done much around games and learning , programming in classroom and lots more and Curriculum for Excellence genuinely opens up a very broad range of opportunities from 4- 19 and across the full subject range,  but we still have much further to go.

Hoping Gove's  damascene conversion is what it appears and that it spurs on some more joined up messages and actions from Education Scotland and SQA . We've been talking about wikifying education for last six years hope some ears pricked up at Michael Gove taking this forward in England.




Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Bett Show First Pass #bett12 #BETT_Show, #bett2012 , #mmafa , #tmbett2012 , #C84C , #EWF , #ELB2012 , #ATC21S



Lots of people can and do spend a lot of time slagging off the BETT Show but it is the one week in year where you  get the sense in the UK that learning technology has a full part to play in the future of learning.  

It can be really hectic but it is always a privilege to attend and critical I think that anyone who gets to attend shares things with the broader learning community. There are a few learning 'consultants' who top up on their jargon this week and will drip feed it to their clients for the rest of the year.  I think "flipped classroom" will be the term  for Bullshit Bingo this year.  ( not knocking theory but those who will mouth it emptily in the coming year ) 

The event was a lot busier than last year both on exhibitor and it felt on attendee front.  Some folks said rightly that last year had a poor turn out because of the weather but it still felt busier than last two previous years.  Good too to  meet up with both Education Scotland and Scottish Government at the  event - it is really critical we make the most of events like BETT both for information gathering and on promoting the best of Scottish Education.

I'll do a few posts  to summarise my BETT experience. There were lots of great links and interesting topics flying around on twitter I hope some of these streams will be archived.

#EWF,  #ELB2012  , #ATC21S I think lots of folk are unaware that BESA now helps organise an Education World Forum on the Monday and Tuesday before BETT started.  There are quite a few useful snippets in the feed from this  http://www.ewf2012.org/  , Microsoft's Education Leaders Briefing  and one to have a look at the assessment and teaching of 21st century skills programme http://atc21s.org/ which we at SQA have been engaged with from inception.

#bett12 #BETT_Show,  #bett2012   - I wish that the official BETT Tag did not have an underscore in it . I don't know who came up with that idea but hopefully one that changes next year. 

 #mmafa  The Miranda Mod  Unconference and some excellent sessions http://www.mirandanet.ac.uk/bett/ 

#C84C  Collaborate for Change a useful new additional fringe event on Thursday evening some lively discussion from vendors and ICT support people http://www.c84c.org.uk/   Looks too that it has a format that can sustain large conference numbers.

#tmbett2012 The one and only - but I'm still not able to hang about until Friday and I am still not sure that teachmeets work when you get 200 folk in one room. But it looked good as ever http://teachmeet.pbworks.com/w/page/48562279/Teachmeet%20%40BETT%202012  and its still critical to have this kind of informal , informative , networking event for teachers at BETT. I'd still like to be able to offer some  no strings sponsorship for  this but I am not quite sure what is happening on this one. Delighted too that John Johnstone has been nominated for a NAACE award for impact of teachmeets http://www.johnjohnston.info/blog/?e=2245 I am sure lots of folk from across UK and beyond will want to help John get his portfolio together. 

More posts to follow 




Sunday, January 08, 2012

#BETT12 Here it comes



Well my diary is almost full of the important catch ups with vendors that I can only really make in this slot in the year.  I'll  be at BETT from Wed morning to Friday afternoon this year.

Normally I am aware of what the main big ticket issue is as a backdrop to BETT - in the past you could guess before you went that dependent on year you would be running into

- purveyors of electronic whiteboards
- ICT Training initiatives for teachers, learners , adults , civil servants ....
- whole school and local authority management information systems
- technical service providers for local authorities
- special deals for bulk buys of hardware
- Virtual Learning Environment providers
- Schools for the future , gazers , describers , sellers , costructors - in handy pre-formed partnership teams

The only constants over last 10 years are quiet stands full of fuzzy felt and interesting things for primary learners and  appalling really for Britain's premier education exhibition, wi-fi will be inaccessible or really dreadful.

It is hard to tell what main thing will be this year - I am guessing policy folk will sit around and talk about PISA - this has been main topic for last three years. It is verging on the obsessive really.

I'd like discussions to be around how education in the  UK can support BYOD if not for learners then certainly for teachers and how and why we can't be as ambitious for learners as a county like Uruguay can be in terms of moving to one lap top per child and building the infrastructure around this.
It may only be a short hop away as 4G and new networking technologies may mean that high bandwidth is available to support new initiatives in this space without cost of all the hard-wiring.

Would be great too to hear from school system of some examples where local authorities of regions have moved into cloud in an open scaleable way and overcome any security issues they may have had for learners and for information security too.

I usually come back with some great new ideas from international links we have http://www.joewilsons.net/search/label/BETT  and a huge sense of relief we don't operate in the same policy landscape as the English education system. ( should add for blogging police this is a fact on policy landscape  rather than any form of  political statement )

See you there folks 

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections on a Busy Year – Part Three



I am certain as ever there are hordes of tools out there that do all the things I do in a much more time efficient way with a higher communication impact. But here are some reflections on trends I have seen this year.

Google Docs – I’ve been using this a lot for collaboration across and beyond our organisation. Challenge when tools arrived was to get other folk comfortable with this technology and happy to contribute in a crowd sourced way.  I’d predict much more use of tools like this across the public sector and folk become socialised to this way of working.

Twitter – In one way probably an enemy to joined up thinking – most folk who tweet think we hang on every post. I’ve been in a few meetings where folk think because they have broadcast something that everyone has read it and that everyone understood what it was about.   With those caveats Twitter remains a very effective way of following lots of change across range of sectors and sharing useful links

MOOCs – Massive Open On-line Courses There just has not been enough time in my diary to actively engage with one. Game changer this year has been Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Course with  more than 100,000 learners  taking part  and some more courses on offer this year this is really something to watch and take part in if you get the chance. Worth too just doing a Google Search for Stanford Mooc you start seeing huge range of learning resources the learners have created 

Aggregation Tools Paper.li
These just get better and better and are great ways for getting most out of all the sources you follow and for re-broadcasting them selectively. I predict these will be big news next year as folk struggle to stay on top of all the information sources they now have access too.

Pealrtrees  - picked up on this about half way through year – for some topics I think this is better than delicious as a social bookmarking tool . Worth too checking out some of the collections  that are already there.

Simmering in background all this year and I’d expect more growth next year -
Infographics , Digital Storytelling , Growth of on-line schools , more interest in  national one computer per child and digital literacy projects

I have one confession though I’ve used Google Hangouts a couple of times but I still don’t really get Google+  I’ve got an i-pad 2 too and mostly use it as a flat screen TV

Finally a word of praise for Engage for Education.  I ‘ve been more and more impressed this year by the Scottish Government’s ability to use social software effectively .  The only slightly worrying caveat is that many of our stakeholders – teachers - are still looking for that paper copy of any information – I hope we can change this in the coming year.